Archive | June, 2013

Students get a close look at recycling

Recycling center field trip

Students from Harrisonville Elementary check out bales of plastic at the Town and Country recycling center.

The MARC Solid Waste Management District administers an annual grant program and awards funds to local communities and organizations for waste reduction and recycling-related projects. From time to time, we publish updates about recent grant recipients.

An enthusiastic group of third grade students from Harrisonville Elementary School recently participated in a field trip at the Town & Country Disposal recycling center. The students got to see how cardboard, plastic, aluminum cans and paper are separated after they’re collected and baled before being shipped off to be made into new products. According to their teacher, April Schoenberg, “Several of the kids mentioned that they would love to have a job at the recycling center and work there when they grow up!”

The tour of the recycling center was made possible by a grant from the MARC Solid Waste Management District to the Cass County Sustainability Committee (CCSC). The CCSC is a grassroots group formed in late 2007 to address recycling and promote sustainability to residents. Funding provided by the District is currently used by the CCSC to transport third and fourth grade students from participating schools throughout Cass County to the Town & Country Disposal recycling facility. In addition to the field trips, the District has funded seven additional permanent recycling locations in Cass County, a redesign of the CCSC’s website, distribution of education materials to schools and the community, advertising in movie theaters and through radio spots, and new social media efforts to draw the community to the recycling program.

More information about recycling in Cass County is available on the CCSC website.

 

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You’re caring for more than your lawn

It has rained a LOT in recent weeks, and with the rain comes every homeowner’s favorite task — maintaining the lawn.

Are you prepared for the summer ahead? Do you know how your lawn care is affecting not only your patch of land, but also the air, water and wildlife surrounding it?

This video from the University of Michigan covers the basics of your lawn’s impact on our earth. Professor Steve Skerlos explains different methods of mowing and basic lawn treatments that are kinder to the air, soil and water around you.

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Food for Thought

Did you know that approximately 17 percent of the Kansas City metropolitan area’s waste stream is food waste? The National Resources Defense Council estimates that American families throw out approximately 25 percent of the food and beverages that they buy (including inedible portions such as bones and peels). When food is wasted, the valuable resources that were used for its production are also wasted.

World Environment Day (June 5), an annual global event sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme, is aimed at promoting positive environmental action. This year’s theme, Think.Eat.Save., focuses on food waste and encourages people to “reduce their foodprint.” This campaign encourages each of us to take action in our homes and businesses to reduce food waste, save money, minimize the environmental impact of food production and consumption, and encourage more efficient food production processes.

There are simple steps you can take at home to reduce the amount of food that you throw out. Jonathan Bloom, who blogs about wasted food, recommends taking action against your personal food waste with the following five steps:

1. Plan your meals before you grocery shop.
2. Make a detailed shopping list and stick to it.
3. Serve reasonably-sized portions.
4. Save your leftovers.
5. Eat those leftovers!

Consider donating food you don’t intend to consume to a local food bank instead of tossing it into the trash. When food can’t be consumed or donated, consider composting it instead of discarding it. Composting food scraps can reduce climate impact while also recycling nutrients. Numerous “how to” resources are available on the Internet for home composting of both yard waste and food scraps.

There is a lot that each and every one of us can do to reduce our food waste. Learn to think about food waste, eat food more mindfully and save money and natural resources at Think.Eat.Save.

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